An 80 Fish Day
STREAM DESCRIPTION: This is a medium sized small freestone stream. The part of the stream I fished runs at between 7 and 8,000 feet in elevation. I hiked up it for 2.5 miles before I started fishing, getting above two forks to cut down on the spring runoff swollen flow, which made the stream a little high and just slightly off color but still very clear.
THE FISHING CONDITIONS: It started out clear, sunny and almost hot. But by the time I had started to fish at noon it had become overcast with a typical after noon thunder cloud build up we get in the mountains at this time of the year, so it was kind of dark and breezy by the time I started catching fish.
TACKLE NOTES: ROD - Suntech Kurnai HM 33, 1.1 Ozs. in weight, 11' 3" long. LINE - T-Bum Size 3 HiVis Orange, 7' long, with a transition section of 1' of TUSA size 2.5 Pink and 6" of 6 Lb. test, clear FC line, to which was looped on 36 or so inches of Orvis Mirage, 6X FC tippet material, for a total line length of about 6 inches longer than the rod is long to start with, and becoming shorter with every fly change.
THE FLY PATTERNS USED AND THE NUMBER OF FISH CAUGHT ON EACH: A size 12, Two-toned X-rated Ant pattern - 15 fish; a size 13 Foam Spider pattern - 15 fish; a size 18 Two-toned Foam Beetle pattern - 15 fish; a size 12 Two-toned Foam Beetle pattern - 15 fish, and a size 11 High Country Hopper pattern - for the final 20 fish.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPRESSIONS: This is a freestone stream that has a lot of natural springs that feed into it, so it has lower flows in high water years and higher flows in low water years, of which this is a very low water year. The largest fish caught on this day was 12.5 inches, with many fish running between 9 and 11 inches as measured against markings on the rod and checked with a tape measure after I got home. And of course the more small stream usual 5 to 9 inch long fish were also well represented in the total catch. 60 of the 80 fish released (including the biggest one) were brown trout, the others being wild, high jumping, rainbows. It took two hours for me to drive up there from my home. I left my car at 10:00 in the morning and got back to it just before 7:00 that evening. The rod, line and flies all performed well, with the bigger patterns producing the bigger fish and catching them faster than the smaller flies did. The High Country Hopper took the longest to catch its fish. I saw no hoppers but there were a lot of caddisflies coming out from under the rocks and bushes as I fished my way upstream. The Light Cahill colored Foam Spider pattern (with the partridge parachute hackle) was the second slowest fly to catch its fish. In the dark lighting conditions, the darker flies worked a lot better. Strangely, the huge size 12 Two-toned Beetle pattern caught its fish the fastest. These are all dry flies but the High Country Hopper pattern gets water logged and becomes a Kebari-like wet fly pattern pretty quickly, so I caught fish on that pattern fishing it both wet and dry. The Bow-and-Arrow Cast got a lot of use on this stream on this day. This was a long but very good day of fishing for me....Golden.